Rushing the Land


Pathfinder Online

Goblin Squad Member

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The landrush is a cool and exciting thing, but it’s only the tip of an enormous and complex iceberg. Pathfinder online is an ambitious game that aims to eventually be one of the most intricate MMORPGs available while holding true to the vision of The River Kingdoms that we all share.

Elkhaven had a really good chance at coming out of the landrush with a settlement, and even holding it for months, or maybe a year. I think a lot of people expect that would be enough, and I really wanted to be one of them. But I think we face a real risk of becoming so attached to our “home” that it’s eventual failure will be heartbreaking. Getting a settlement functional will be difficult at best, requiring constant inputs of factors that require groups to accumulate. Companies need to generate reputation for the settlement before the settlement can do anything. Without a group of people clearing the area and establishing reputation, the settlement will be a hollow shell, devoid of any meaning or usefulness in the game. Without control of the surrounding terrain and Points of Interest, settlements will lack the resources to grow and sustain ourselves. With POIs empty or running on a skeleton crew, they are vulnerable to interlopers. A lost POI becomes a threat to our settlement as it will be turned into a siege weapon. It’s going to take a lot of people to turn a settlement into anything but a resource collection spot for bandits and larger groups.

If we know that in a few months, or a year, or two, when our settlement gets trashed for the 1st, or 3rd, or 15th time, and we just can’t face the thought of rebuilding, that we’ll be able to walk away and do something else with a little disappointment, but without any bitterness, then there is nothing wrong with holding a settlement with 5 or 10 or 25 people in the next few days. But if we can’t be sure that we’ll be fine with rebuilding after our buildings are destroyed for the dozenth time, then it becomes essential to seriously consider what it is that we hope to do in Pathfinder Online. That’s where Elkhaven found ourselves this week. I am convinced that a group of less than 30 this week can not do it. We worked hard to get more people to work with us, but didn’t have what was needed to draw people to our banner. Without that critical mass, Elkhaven would have been coasting toward oblivion. That’s why we folded our flag and moved it to Ozem’s Vigil. We’ve chosen to work with one of many fine groups that we can help be successful.

There are many good settlement teams around. Virtually any of them would be happy to make a place for a small team, or an individual, that wants to build something lasting. Combining with a group of disparate people offers the chance to do the things that matter most to you, while others do the things that don’t interest you. A group of ten or twenty people will all need to be crafters and warriors and commoners and aristocrats if they hope to fill the roles needed to make a settlement function. Not just all those things, but good at all those things. And in the meantime, scarce resources mean that you’re also going to have to be good at defending what you find and build against groups that need to take it from you if they are going to succeed. The game design of social groupings based around settlements surrounded by resources that are essential to those settlements’ function and require independent operation means that even very small teams can play a real and important role in their community’s success. The developers have stressed repeatedly that if we go it alone or in small groups, they expect us to fail. Consider carefully if you want to be one of the data points that proves them right.

Goblin Squad Member

Excellent post Caldeathe.

Goblin Squad Member

Sounds pretty discouraging to those of us who come from small guilds in other games (10-30 people) and were hoping to establish something here.

Goblin Squad Member

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Tyveil wrote:
Sounds pretty discouraging to those of us who come from small guilds in other games (10-30 people) and were hoping to establish something here.

There is nothing stopping those guilds from forming something but the settlements will need hundreds of players to survive. 20 people holding a settlement for an extended period of time is not in the design.

Goblin Squad Member

I agree with everything you wrote, but you overlooked another weakness built into this system.

For those that win a settlement in the land rush, you must realize that you have gained your prize with no real effort. All you managed to do is collect maybe 15+ votes and voila!, you have a settlement.

What I would rather see, and experience ourselves, is the following:

1. Winning a spot in the land rush does not give you the land, it gives you the opportunity to capture the land.

2. This opportunity is limited to perhaps 5 attempts.

3. The "land" has to be cleared and the NPC keep has to be defeated in a siege. Once the holder of the limited opportunity captures the keep, it becomes theirs. If they should fail to capture after 5 attempts, the keep become vulnerable to anyone.

This system would avoid those companies that were too weak in numbers to actually gain control of the settlement.

What those that are successful will gain is the knowledge of what it takes to capture a settlement (and in some ways, how to defend one). They will also gain some legitimacy and respect because their efforts will be known.

This combines to quotes that are important principles for us to think about.

"You keep what you kill"
"You have what you hold"

@Goblin Works

We don't need a cataclysmic event to "grant" us our settlement spots. Make us have to work for those spots in game.

Goblin Squad Member

Tyveil wrote:
Sounds pretty discouraging to those of us who come from small guilds in other games (10-30 people) and were hoping to establish something here.

Much along the lines as Gpunk's response, the Golarion Liberators started off as a group of 9, and were facing ejection from the leaderboard until we recruited a 2nd company of 6. But we soon realized that all of our play time in early enrollment was going to be sitting at our towers trying to protect them from capture for the small amount of bonus they will offer to our development index. Once we got our settlement, we then realized that we would be an extremely soft target, especially against the larger oceanic settlements that might come along when we were unable to play due to our work schedule. Lastly we realized, it would soon lose all of its luster to be a "King of Dirt" having to rebuild and rebuild and rebuild, never accumulating enough development points to build bigger, better, and more protected.

I have had an extreme amount of dissatisfaction from the multitude of smaller companies who have failed to post any contact information, who have failed to get involved with the Forums, and who have stuck to their desire to "go it alone" for now, after the weekly callings from the developers themselves saying that those settlements will not likely make it to Open Enrollment.

But to each their own.

Golarion Liberators has now allied with the Horns Guard and Eastern Sun and established a cemented pillar within the Empire of Xeilias at the settlement of Kreuz Bernstein.

Look us up and get involved! We all have something to offer those smaller groups, the main thing is FUN and Friendly entertainment for hopefully months to come.

Goblin Squad Member

Tyveil wrote:
...hoping to establish something here.

You can: a Point of Interest. You may not be able to succeed with an entire Settlement, but all Settlements need Companies to run POIs for the benefit of the whole Settlement.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

The meta reason for why the landrush is happening is to resolve the bootstrap problem; creating a settlement from scratch will require lots of refined and crafted resources, and the only way to refine and craft things in an effective manner is at a developed settlement.

The bootstrap problem remains resolved when settlements start changing hands.

In Go, it is trivial to prove that whoever gets the first move is guaranteed to be able to force a victory. It has yet to be proven which initial move(s) are on the winning path.

Goblin Squad Member

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Like Rush says: "Changes aren't permanent... but change is"

You can make a difference. You can change the world. You shouldn't expect your changes to be carved in stone. The nature of a sandbox is that your castle will eventually be stepped on. That's OK.

Ryan Dancey wrote:


Some tougher news to hear:

You're probably going to build up some awesome stuff in Early Enrollment, and lose it in Open Enrollment. The first couple of years of this game are going to be like learning to ride a bicycle with training wheels. You may feel like you've mastered things and are operating effectively, but then one day the Big Guilds From Other Games will show up and you'll learn all the things you're doing wrong. The hard way.

Groups that have a strong sense of purpose, and are resilient and able to admit mistakes and move forward without tearing themselves apart at the seams can recover from losses. Some of the largest Alliances in EVE have lost EVERYTHING, and have been able to boostrap with whatever individual members were able to salvage, and return to be a force fairly quickly because they had that kind of resilience.

You're going to get your asses kicked. Your stuff is going to get torn down. People are going to say mean things about you. Even some of your characters may become unplayable. If your group has the ability to pick itself up, dust itself off, and get back in the fight, you'll be stronger for overcoming your setbacks. But if you think you can engineer perfect safety today, and you become brittle behind the belief that you have, you'll risk catastrophic disintegration when you face major setbacks.

So you should be talking about those setbacks in the context of "when", not "if".

Long term success here will not be about always winning and never losing. It will be about winning for a while and then losing, and then coming back and winning some more, and then losing again, and then coming back and winning again.

Goblin Squad Member

Always enjoyable to read the words of someone grounded in reality.
Great post CB.

Goblin Squad Member

Tyveil wrote:
Sounds pretty discouraging to those of us who come from small guilds in other games (10-30 people) and were hoping to establish something here.

It shouldn't. It should do the exact opposite. Find some new friends. Become part of something new, instead of playing only the same way with only the same people you always have.

There are a lot of people here that could become new friends if you give us a chance.

Goblin Squad Member

The 10-30 person guild is exactly the kind of group that large settlements will be looking for to manage a PoI or an Outpost. You can make your mark on the world, it just won't be as big a mark as it would be if you were a bigger group.

Goblin Squad Member

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And more importantly, it's the chance to become part of that bigger group. Pathfinder online will be a game of kingdoms one day. It's never too soon to start finding friends.

Goblin Squad Member

Guurzak wrote:
The 10-30 person guild is exactly the kind of group that large settlements will be looking for to manage a PoI or an Outpost. You can make your mark on the world, it just won't be as big a mark as it would be if you were a bigger group.

Thanks, this sounds like something we would likely be interested in.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Phaeros is looking for companies to start by controlling a tower for the war of towers.

Goblin Squad Member

Tyveil wrote:
Guurzak wrote:
The 10-30 person guild is exactly the kind of group that large settlements will be looking for to manage a PoI or an Outpost. You can make your mark on the world, it just won't be as big a mark as it would be if you were a bigger group.
Thanks, this sounds like something we would likely be interested in.

Heck, Kabal will take groups of six to ten. They should be able to hold one of the towers closest to our settlement when the tower wars start. Anything smaller than that and they will have to combine into one group to hold a tower.

Goblin Squad Member

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The simple fact is, most of the groups that exist are going to be looking for both groups and individuals. We're getting in at the start of something to the chance to form friendships that could last a decade or more.

You don't have to give up anything to support a settlement. Find a group that has ideas you like, and work beside them to build a piece of the world that will be enduring and reflective of your input.

Goblin Squad Member

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Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:
... the chance to form friendships that could last a decade or more.

After spending time with Decius during our PaizoCon vacation, my wife and I both wish we lived close enough to him to hang out with him regularly. I am very grateful for all of the friendships I've made with folks here over the last two and a half years.

Goblin Squad Member

Caldeathe Baequiannia wrote:

The simple fact is, most of the groups that exist are going to be looking for both groups and individuals. We're getting in at the start of something to the chance to form friendships that could last a decade or more.

You don't have to give up anything to support a settlement. Find a group that has ideas you like, and work beside them to build a piece of the world that will be enduring and reflective of your input.

True true true!

Goblin Squad Member

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I would like to say that I fully expect the companies of Elkhaven to add their own colors to our rich tapestry of Ozem's Vigil, as no great city has only one district. That is bland and boring.

In New York City we have Chinatown, West Village, Flushing, Bay Ridge, Far Rockaway, Washington Heights, Upper West, Midtown, Soho, etc. They all have their own flavor, but they all call themselves New Yorkers. That is how I see Ozem's Vigil. That is what I dream and hope that it can one day become. I am very excited to have them join us in this dream and look forward to them contributing their own ideas to the settlement.

Goblin Squad Member

Well said Quietus.

Right now we are like that rainbow ice cream that is all vanilla, we need someone to come give us some flavor.

Goblin Squad Member

Look for a place that shares what you most want from the various pursuits in the game, but one that is ready to defend those pursuits for all of you.

Find a place where you still have some say in it's policies. Where you have a voice and a vote in it's government. Where you can stomach the day to day activities of the larger population.

Don't be a number. Be a Partner.

Where you can be happiest for the longest time.

<Brought to you by SomeGuy>

Goblin Squad Member

<Kabal> Sunnfire wrote:

Well said Quietus.

Right now we are like that rainbow ice cream that is all vanilla, we need someone to come give us some flavor.

But I'm a Rocky Road kind of guy!

So when we get to the Tower Wars and can start forming other companies, can I have all the females in the settlement join me? I want to call our company Buni's Hunnies!!

Goblin Squad Member

Strong argument. You can bring it up on Wednesday. ;)

Goblin Squad Member

<Kabal> Sunnfire wrote:
Strong argument. You can bring it up on Wednesday. ;)

What would you do if you knew you just had 36 hours left to live? Figure I have that long because it will take them six hours to get to NC to "talk" to me about my idea! :-)

Goblin Squad Member

Cal B,

It has been very interesting to see your developing thoughts on the Land Rush before, during and after the 10 week period on this and many other threads, both in character and out of character. I just wanted to thank you for sharing those thoughts, it has been quite an interesting journey for many. :)

Goblin Squad Member

Some would say I'm guilty of over-sharing. I find it amazing how I've gone from (as little as maybe 75 days ago) Zero interest in pathfinder online to being as eager as some who have followed it for several years.

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